For many employees and business leaders alike, meetings are a frustrating part of our jobs. Most of the time they’re either long, pointless, boring, or all of the above. The result is that employees not only dread going to meetings, but also don’t pay attention when they’re in one. Below are a few tips on leading everything from staff meetings to one-on-ones that your employees will want to attend.
Be as brief as possible.
It’s easy for meetings to drone on, especially if you have a lot to talk about and haven’t established a time limit. Come to each meeting with an agenda and a specified time you’ll be finished. Start on time and end on time. This way you’ll not only keep the meeting from filling up your employees’ day, but you’ll know what you need to get done in an established amount of time. And, if you really want to keep it short (and efficient), try a standing meeting.
Know who to invite.
Employees can easily get distracted by their phone or laptop if they feel like they don’t belong in a meeting. To keep meetings collaborative, only invite employees who need to be there. During the meeting, be respectful of your employees’ time by asking for their advice. If you simply need to communicate something, and aren’t looking for input, ask yourself, “Could this be done in a memo?” Harvard Business Review found that employees will be more inclined to meetings that they are needed in.
Accomplish something in the meeting.
If employees feel like meetings are effective and productive, they’ll start to see them as tools for getting the job done. As was previously stated, it’s important to have an agenda so everyone involved knows the goal of the meeting. Take time to write your agenda. Printing physical copies and handing them out to each attendee is a great way to stay on track. Refer back to the agenda each time you check off an item and review at the end to ensure you’ve achieved what you set out to.
If you can shift the paradigm in your organization from meetings being a necessary evil to being a productive use of everyone’s time, you’re winning. Use these tips to keep your meetings quick, collaborative, and effective and your meetings will be more than enjoyable–they’ll be essential.
For even more tips, check download our Effective Meeting Toolkit.